Published on 5/07/13 on STYLECREEPER.com
This week, my dream self is in Paris, wandering the cobblestone streets, munching on macarons, and sitting (front row of course) in every Haute Couture runway show at Paris Fashion Week.
Haute Couture for me is what dreams are made of. It is an invitation for fashion houses to focus less on profitability, even wearability, and expand their creative minds to some pretty unbelievable places. Each piece is an expression of opulence, skill and art, and run in the hundreds and thousands of dollars.
Haute Couture is the equivalent of Champagne in wine – it is a honoured label one must earn by following requirements set by governing body the Chambre de Commerce et d’industrie de Paris”. Each haute couture garment must be made completely by hand, designed to order, fit perfectly to the client, and come from a fashion house with an atelier in Paris. Once these are met, a fashion house can call their garments Haute Couture (or High Fashion), and must present a total of 75 garments in two shows every year.
Although there are many critics who question the point of haute couture, with a dwindling market of women who can afford to wear these one-of-a-kind numbers (its rumoured there are only 4000 customers of haute couture world-wide), there is a magic surrounding the clothes that you can’t find in a ready-to-wear collection. The idea that these garments are so exclusive that even the biggest celebrities are too common-place to wear them makes each piece that much more exciting to see.
Here are some of my highlights from this years Haute Couture shows. (IMAGES are all taken from vogue.it, head there to see the whole collections, and those shows not featured here).
Karl is back, with the signature house tweed, signature black suit, and the extravagant backdrops. Chanel runways have been set amongst scenes from the apocalypse to under the sea, with this year guests seated on the wooden chairs of an abandoned theatre – all created in the legendary Grand Palais. The worn out theatre brought out the monochrome collection, mixing the tweed with heavily embellishments and luxury fabrics.
Soft neutral gowns floated down Christophe Josse’s runway, each unique and spectacular in their own right, but creating one beautiful collection as a whole. Each garment toyed with hemlines and necklines, creating beautiful shapes and silhouettes.
Dior’s collection combined elegance with fun pops of colour and texture. Sequined skirts, puffs of tulle, even a dress that looks prickly walked the runway – and a draped blue mini dress that would look perfect in my wardrobe.
If (or when, you never know) I become a princess, Elie Saab will make my ball gowns. This fashion house is renowned for its beautiful dresses, and this year, I couldn’t suppress my sighs of adoration for this collection. The colours, deep jewel tones and golden highlights, the intricate embellishments – i shutter to think at how many hundreds of hours of beading the seamstresses would of faced – each dress a symbol of elegance, and just a touch of sex appeal. And their showstopper, their last garment, a wedding style cascading gown with beading and a train – just wow.
GIORGIO ARMANI PRIVE`
Another beautiful showcase of feminine colours and texture from Giorgio Armani Prive`. French Lace, silks, sequins and feathers in blush colours and blacks walked down the runway, in a collection that any lady would swoon over.
I have never really heard of this fashion house, but after this year, I will definitely keep my eye out for it. I think I loved every piece from their Haute Couture collection, a collection that showcased the art of couture but a level of wearability that can translate to many women. If I had millions of dollars to spend on fashion, I would head over to Giambattista Valli and commission them to make me one of these dresses. I love the feminine colour palate, sheer fabrics, and beautiful designs.
Another unfamiliar fashion house, another amazing collection. If there is one thing that oozes from these garments – its the sense of movement. A great aesthetic of clothing is how it moves with, and with that movement, accentuates the body. Even in the still photos, the garments look like they are fluid, moving,